Pirates Look to Extend Winning Streak at Houston

Kyani White

Feb. 6, 2013

Game 21: East Carolina at Houston
Date Thursday, February 7
Time 8 p.m. (ET)
Location Houston, Texas | Hofheinz Pavilion
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – Winners of four straight, the East Carolina women’s basketball team looks to extend that streak when it takes on Houston at Hofheinz Pavilion on Thursday, February 7, at 8 p.m. (ET).

The Game: ECU at Houston
East Carolina will take its four-game winning streak to Houston as the Pirates take on the Cougars on Thursday, February 7, at 8 p.m. (ET). ECU will enter the game with a 15-5 overall record and a 5-2 Conference USA mark, while Houston is 9-11 on the season and 3-4 in conference action.

The Series
The Pirates and Cougars will face off for the 12th time in program history and Houston leads the all-time series 9-2. Last season, ECU defeated Houston, 83-77, at Minges Coliseum on February 16. Despite Houston leading the series, East Carolina has been victorious over the Cougars two out of the last three meetings.

Last Time Out
The Pirates enter the game against Houston on a four-game winning streak and have won seven of their last nine contests. In the last four games, ECU has picked up victories over Tulsa (69-63), Tulane (55-52), Marshall (54-47), and UCF (59-48). Against the Knights, redshirt senior forward Whitny Edwards notched her first double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) in a Pirate uniform, while Celeste Stewart led all scorers with 18 points. Stewart led the Pirates in scoring for the fourth consecutive game. In addition to her 18 points, she also posted three assists and one rebound while shooting 43.8 percent from the floor, while connecting on four three-pointers on as many attempts. Whitny Edwards added two steals, one assist and a 46.1 shooting percentage to go along with her double-double of 14 points and a season-high 11 boards. Kristine Mial was the Pirates’ third double figure scorer as she turned in an 11-point performance with a season-best six steals. Additionally the junior forward contributed three boards and a pair of assists on 40-percent shooting. Defensively, ECU was led by Britny Edwards who turned in her second 15-rebound effort of the year. The redshirt senior also added four points, and an assist while shooting 50-percent.

About the Pirates
East Carolina owns a 15-5 overall record and a 5-2 conference mark. The Pirates boast an impressive 10-1 record at home and are 4-0 at home in C-USA action this season. ECU’s only loss at Minges Coliseum came on November 17, 2012, against College of Charleston (72-62). The Pirates are averaging 64.7 points per game this season, while limiting their opponents to 54.0, for a scoring margin of +10.7. The ECU defense has been solid this season as it is forcing 22.8 turnovers per game, while collecting 13.1 steals per contest, which is good for seventh in the nation. The Pirates have three double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (11.7 points per game), Celeste Stewart (11.2), and Britny Edwards (11.0). Britny Edwards is the squad’s rebounding leader as she has collected 184 boards to average 9.2 per contest. She also leads the team in blocks with 29, along with a 51.1 shooting percentage. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.7 rebounds per game, and has added 33 steals and 39 assists. In addition to being the team’s second leading scorer, Stewart is the team leader in assists with 85. The senior point guard has been a major contributer as she has also posted 61 rebounds and 32 steals. Junior Kristine Mial has made an immediate impact since returning to the Pirates’ lineup after sitting out the first 10 games of the season due to an injury. Since her return, she is averaging 9.1 points per game and has collected 24 rebounds and 14 steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 50 steals to lead the Pirates and average 2.5 steals per game. White has also added 5.6 points per game, 63 assists, and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Scouting The Cougars
Houston comes into the contest against ECU with a 9-11 overall record and a 3-4 conference mark. The Cougars are 8-4 at Hofheinz Pavilion this season and are looking to snap a three game losing streak in which they fell to UTEP (65-54), SMU (58-54), and Tulane (74-56). Redshirt senior guard Porsche Landry is the team’s leading scorer as she averages 16.4 points per game. Landry has also added 4.7 rebounds per contest, a team-best 91 assists, 44 steals, and six blocks. Junior Yasmee Thompson averages 8.8 boards per game to lead the squad. She has also contributed 8.2 points per game and a 55.4 shooting percentage. Junior forward Te’onna Campbell is averaging 7.7 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game to go along with a team-high 60 steals, 31 assists and 16 blocks. Alecia Smith, Conference USA’s reigning Freshman of the Week, has started in 16 of Houston’s 20 games and is averaging 8.3 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game. Smith has also posted 29 steals and 38 assists.

The Coaches
East Carolina: Head Coach Heather Macy (Greensboro College, 2000) enters her third year at the helm of the ECU women’s basketball team and holds a record of 43-39 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 158-78 career record and is 94-44 in conference action. In her first year with the Pirates, Macy guided the team to a winning record for the third straight season and helped the Pirates to a 9-7 conference mark which was good for fifth place in the league. Macy came to ECU from Francis Marion where she led the Patriots to a 27-5 ledger during the 2009-10 season and finished second in the East Division of the Peach Belt Conference. Under her tutelage, FMU earned a berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament and advanced to the second round. Macy spent three seasons with FMU and finished her stint with an impressive 75-19 record. She began her coaching career with Pfeiffer, where she coached for two years and led the Falcons to a 26-5 record in her final season.

Houston: Todd Buchanan (Murray State, 1995) is in his third year as the head coach of the Houston women’s basketball team. In his first year at the helm, he led the Cougars to a 26-6 overall record to mark the second-most wins in school history while finishing with a perfect 16-0 conference record to become just the second team in league history to achieve that feat. Under his direction, the Cougars earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and cracked the top 25 polls for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Prior to his arrival in Houston, Buchanan was the head coach at Houston Baptist where he compiled an 80-68 record and led the program to a pair of trips to the NAIA Tournament before helping the Huskies make the transition to NCAA Division I. As an assistant coach, Buchanan served stints at his alma mater, Murray State, Oral Roberts, Montevallo, East Carolina, and Houston.

The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 50 in eight categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are in seventh in steals per game (13.1), ninth in turnover margin (6.1), 16th in three-point field goal defense (25.7), 36th in scoring defense (54.0), 39th in assists per game (15.7), 44th in scoring margin (+10.7), 44th in field goal percent defense (35.6), and 48th in win-loss percentage (75.0). The NCAA ranks the top 250 student-athletes and four Pirates rank in six categories. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White ranks 43rd in assists to turnover ratio (1.91) and 94th in steals per game (2.53). Senior Celeste Stewart ranks 90th in assist to turnover ratio (1.57) and 94th in assists per game (4.3), while redshirt senior Britny Edwards ranks 64th in rebounds per game (9.2) and 107th in blocked shots per game (1.45). Whitny Edwards ranks 225th in three-point field goals per game as she averages 1.57.

On This Date in ECU Women’s Basketball History
The East Carolina women’s basketball team has played in 12 contests on February 7th since the program’s inception. The first game that took place on that date was in 1972, when ECU routed Atlantic Christian, 74-36. Since then, the Pirates have recorded a 5-7 record on February 7th, with their last contest taking place in 2008 against Tulane. In that game, the Green Wave defeated the Pirates, 70-65.

Cracking the Top 10
A pair of Pirates have found their way into the East Carolina women’s basketball career record books with their performances this season. Britny Edwards is currently ranked seventh in career blocks with 74, while Celeste Stewart sits in ninth with 319 career assists.

Off the Bench
The East Carolina women’s basketball team utilizes its bench as much as anyone, if not more. This season, the Pirates’ bench has outscored its opponents’ bench 406-266. ECU’s non-starters tallied 52 of the team’s 84 points in the Pirates’ win over St. Andrew’s on November 11, and East Carolina’s bench recorded 45 of 79 points against Converse on November 18. Most recently, the Pirates’ bench notched 24 points versus’ Tulsa on January 20, while the Golden Hurricane’s bench was limited to just seven points. In that contest, ECU defeated Tulsa, 69-63.

Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 317 rebounds as Britny has collected 184 and Whitny has added 133. Britny is averaging 9.2 rebounds per game which ranks second in the conference. Additionally, she is in second in defensive rebounds per game (5.7) and fourth in offensive rebounds per game (3.5) in Conference USA. This season, Britny Edwards has recorded a pair of 15-plus rebound games, while last Sunday, Whitny Edwards notched a season-best 11 rebounds in the Pirates 59-48 win over UCF.

Getting Offensive
This season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents 64.7 points per game to 54.0 to boast a scoring margin of +10.7, which ranks in the top 50 in the NCAA and second in Conference USA. A large part of the offense has come from seniors Whitny Edwards, Celeste Stewart, and Britny Edwards. Whitny is the Pirates’ leading scorer as she averages 11.7 points per game. Stewart is right behind her as she averages 11.2 points per game, while Britny Edwards is averaging 11.0 points per game.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 50 steals to average 2.5 steals per game for ECU. Against Converse, White grabbed a game-high eight steals to tie for sixth place in the ECU single-game record book. She is eighth in Conference USA in steals per contest. Just last Sunday, junior forward Krisitne Mial collected six steals for a season-high in the Pirates’ 59-48 win over UCF.

Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart has dished out a team-leading 85 assists this season to average 4.3 assists per game which is good for fourth in Conference USA statistics. She is currently in ninth place in the ECU career record books with 319 in her career. Stewart is fifth in the conference in assists to turnover ratio with a mark of 1.6. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has amassed 63 assists on the year and she sets the standard in C-USA in assist to turnover ratio (1.9).

Block Party
Redshirt senior Britny Edwards tied a career-high five blocks in the Pirates’ season opener at William & Mary. This season, Edwards has posted a team-leading 29 blocks to average 1.5 blocks per game which is good for third in Conference USA. In the Pirates’ win over NC Central, Edwards tallied her 63rd career block to break into the ECU all-time record book. She is now ranked seventh on the all-time blocks list with a total of 74.

ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in four categories. East Carolina has set the standard in three-point field goal percent defense (.257), steals per game (13.1), turnover margin (+6.1), and offensive rebounds per game (16.3). The Pirates rank in the top five in 14 of 21 categories in conference statistics.

ECU Players in C-USA
Individually, East Carolina has a number of players in the top 10 in conference statistics. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White ranks leads the conference in assist to turnover ratio (1.9) and is eighth in steals per game (2.5). Redshirt senior Britny Edwards is ranked second in rebounds per game (9.2), second in defensive rebounds per game (5.7), and fourth in field goal percentage (.511), blocked shots per game (1.5), and offensive rebounds per game (3.5). Senior Celeste Stewart ranks fourth in assists per game (4.3), fifth in assist to turnover ratio (1.6), and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.342). Redshirt senior Whitny Edwards is sixth in the conference in three-point field goals made per game as she averages 1.7.

Coming Up...
The Pirates continue their road swing with a game at UAB in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. (ET). The contest will be the 23rd in program history and ECU leads the all-time series 13-9. Live stats will be available on ECUPirates.com.